If you’re a backpacker but haven’t visited Amsterdam, we have a question for you — Why?!
Amsterdam is famous among backpackers because of the many remarkable things you could do and visit there. While you could create an almost endless list, consider these nine reasons to visit Amsterdam.
1. Fascinating Museums
While you can spend a lot of money visiting museums in Amsterdam, there are at least five you need to see that do not charge an admission fee.
See over 6,000 plant varieties in the gardens at Vrue University. Some of these plants are over 100 years old.
Explore the monthly changing contemporary photography exhibit at Melkweg Bar. Additionally, this venue often hosts free musical concerts.
Head to the Jewish Cultural Quarter to visit the Holandsche Schouwburg. This World War II museum pays tribute to all Jews who died during that fateful war.
Visit the Multatuli Museum, where Eduard Douwes Dekker was born. This 19-century writer went on to inspire a country of freethinkers after serving in Indonesia. You can see many of his personal belongings and attend workshops to help you understand how his way of thinking transformed the Netherlands and beyond.
See the monthly art exhibitions at The Reflex Gallery. You can get into these shows for free.
2. Lively Festivals
The people of Amsterdam love their festivals, and you are more than welcome to join them as they celebrate.
- Light Festival in mid-December thru mid-January
- Tulip Festival on the third Saturday of January
- Chinese New Year with varying dates in January and February
- Amsterdam Gay Price in late July to early August
- King’s Day in April
- Open Garden Days – Third weekend in June
- Heritage Days – Second weekend in September
3. Delicious Food
While you can find five-star Michelin restaurants in Amsterdam, there are also plenty of inexpensive ways to dine. There are many great spots for a picnic, and most supermarkets carry fresh salads and bread bowls. If you are strolling near the canal, you can find many inexpensive cafes away from the main tourist areas. You may also want to look for street vendors selling pickled herring out of carts.
4. Grab the Ferry
One of the primary reasons that backpackers often come to Amsterdam is to explore the canal. There are three main canals in the city, so if you are trying to get to a particular location, you need to know which one it is located on. The ferry service is a great way to explore the waterfront and is free.
5. Enjoy Window Shopping
There are many great places in Amsterdam to go window shopping. One place that you will want to check out is the fresh flower floating ship. You are welcome to browse it for free. You will find fresh organic farmers’ markets throughout the year. And they make terrific places to learn about the local cuisine. If you decide to splurge on yourself or buy a gift for someone, consider handmade clogs. You can often find cheap ones in smaller stores in neighboring communities for the same price as you would pay in more touristy areas of the city, and they will last for years.
6. Easily Get Around
Amsterdam has a very affordable public transportation system, including buses and trains. You can purchase tickets by ride up to a week at a time. If you are spending a week or more in the city, opt for their public transport chip card called OV-chipkaart.
7. Bike Everywhere
The relatively flat city of Amsterdam is also a great city to get around in on a bike. In fact, it is how many locals get around their community as bike lanes are everywhere. Prices for bike rentals are a little steep, but you can pick up a good used bike very inexpensively if you plan to be there for a few days.
8. Active Nightlife
You can find many things to do in Amsterdam after the sun goes down. You can find a wide variety of choices from clubs with international DJs to quiet cafes. Dutch liquor is so good that many people take it with them as a souvenir.
9. Great Hostels
You can opt to stay in private rooms or group dormitories in Amsterdam’s hostels. Many are in the main tourist areas of the city. Almost all have lockers for you to store your stuff, and many rent bikes. Some offer organized trips to the countryside.
Ready to plan your trip to Amsterdam? Let us know which of these places you’d like to visit first!